EC ICANN Reform Proposal Criticised by European Tech Groups

A proposal by the European Commission’s Information Society and Media Commissioner, Viviane Reding, has drawn the ire of industry trade groups who “strongly call on the EU to ensure that the private sector led multi-stakeholder model on which ICANN is built is preserved and enforced, as a key factor of Internet’s success.”The statement from the European Telecommunications Network Operators’ Association (ETNO), EuroISPA and GSMA in Europe says “the accountability of ICANN to its entire stakeholder community is the cornerstone of its transition to a fully independent and privatised international organisation in its own right for the benefit of global stakeholders. An oversight function of ICANN by governments only, as implied in the European Commission’s recent communication ‘Internet Governance: the next steps’, or an intergovernmental body, would contradict the goal to move ICANN responsibilities to the private sector and would not appropriately take into account all stakeholders.””Significant progress has been achieved as regards the involvement of governments in ICANN’s Policy Development Process. The Government Advisory Committee (GAC) has improved its ability to produce principles and policy advice in a timely and coordinated manner, along with its interaction with the other ICANN governance entities. Certainly there is room for more and better governmental involvement, particularly through increased and meaningful participation in the existing mechanisms.”The accountability of ICANN to its entire stakeholder community is the cornerstone of its transition to a fully independent and privatised international organisation in its own right for the benefit of global stakeholders. An oversight function of ICANN by governments only, as implied in the European Commission’s recent communication “Internet Governance: the next steps”1, or an intergovernmental body, would contradict the goal to move ICANN responsibilities to the private sector and would not appropriately take into account all stakeholders.”Considering the significant impact of Internet on the world economy as well as on our everyday lives and businesses, Europe’s e-communications providers strongly believe that the only way forward is for ICANN to be accountable to all its stakeholders and that all stakeholders must equally be involved in the definition and implementation of public policies, as also strongly expressed by the World Summit on Information Society.To read the statement in full, see:
euroispa.org/files/joint_x20industry_x20statement_ig_130709.pdf